INTERVIEW: San Francisco-based singer-songwriter Travis Hayes

Hi Travis, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Thank you, I’m feeling good. Very busy, but feeling good. Happy to finally get this new album out into the world.

Can you tell us more about your song, “Past Lives”?

I wrote “Past Lives” during a time I was having a lot of anxiety dreams. Really, nightmares.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

These nightmares had a few intense, recurring themes that would then affect me the day after. By writing this song, I chose to confront a few of those issues on my own terms.

Any plans to release a video?

Yes, we’re releasing one music video for the title track. It’s less video, and more real life footage that hopefully gives more context to the album.

What’s the story behind the album title?

The last few years of my life have been pretty heavy. A lot of sleepless nights, awake and trying to work through my shit. I just wrote about what I was experiencing. I needed a healthy way to handle my depression and anxiety, and for me, this was a way to do that.

How was the recording and writing process?

I took more time on each of these songs than I ever had before. I just wanted to go all in and make them as strong as possible. It really helped having Brent Curriden, my lead guitarist, to work these songs into full band arrangements. Then our producer, Sean Beresford (Third Eye Blind), took all the pieces and really brought them to life.They both pushed these songs to a place I couldn’t have achieved solo. I’m really happy with how it all came together.

What role does San Francisco play in your music?

My first album was all about how San Francisco shaped my life at the time. In this new album, living in San Francisco shifted to this thing that kept me up at night. 

It has been a really difficult place to live in recent years. Anyone who is able to make art while living here has to be extremely dedicated. If anything, I’m proud to have made this album as an artist from San Francisco.

How much did grief and other life struggles influence this record?

It influenced the entire record. It’s about how to survive loss and cope with grief. It’s also about finding hope after, and rediscovering your reason for being.

Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

My friends, my family, my relationships. The last few years have been really difficult for the people closest to me: Death, sickness, natural disaster… really everything life can throw your way. I had to find a way to be ok so that I could be there for people around me. And I wanted to share their experiences too, not just my own, in this album.

Any plans to hit the road?

Yes, we are going on a short, West Coast tour following the release of the record. We’ll add some more dates throughout the year. We’re really looking forward to getting out there! 

2/28 – Bottom of the Hill || San Francisco, CA

3/2 – Pignic Pub || Reno, NV

3/3 – Holy Diver || Sacramento, CA

3/8 – Love Song Bar || Los Angeles, CA

3/9 – The Willow Den || San Jose, CA

What’s happening next in Travis Hayes’s world?

Once the record is out, the goal is a lot more touring and to sing these songs to as many people as I can!

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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